Batman and the Outsiders #1
Batman has gathered up a team of "misfits", Black Lightning, Katana, Orphan, The Signal (Duke Thomas) and of course Batman himself (kinda) to act as a sort of black ops squad taking on dirty jobs Batman has selected personally.
In this first issue....things are a bit off, Batman is at odds with Black Lightning off the rip, Duke is shaken up by getting rekt by a villain named Karma before this issue takes place and Orphan is just kinda there. The team muddles through taken down a D-lister illustrating the kinks in the rope with their teamwork and the Ark Group rears it's ugly head yet again. Diving right back into illegal metahuman creation and all manner of nastiness that brings along with it.
One such meta is a young confused girl on the run named Sofia Ramos, gifted with the ability to adapt to survive she's a noob with the power and in way over her head. While attempting to elude Ark, Ra's Al Ghul and unintentionally Batman, she is snag up by her would be savior a cyborg dude named Caliber. What exactly this means for her? Well who knows but it promises to be messy.
As a long time fan of Outsiders in particular the original run and Nightwing’s 2000s team…I had pretty high hopes this would scratch the itch. In some ways it does, the scenes between Katana and Jefferson Pierce alone are amazing. If nothing else this book is worth reading to see how the two play off each other.
The lack of cohesion between the majority of the team though is almost distracting. If Batman put this team together and let’s them off the leash almost completely unsupervised you’d expect something a little more impactful when seeing them in action. As I said before Black Lightning and Katana definitely measure up but Orphan and Signal feel like two characters from a different series just happened to appear in the issue cuz reasons.
Not a bad first issue don’t get me wrong but definitely brush up on the Detective Comics issues before tackling this one and keep in mind, despite a couple familiar faces this book is Batman and the Outsiders in name only. Batman himself serves as more the Charlie to their Angels as well so I wouldn’t expect to see him in action along side the team for at least a couple issues.
The only real gripe I have with this issue is Caliber, it’s very hard to ignore a lot of the late 90’s New Mutants/early days of X-Force influence on this book as it unfolds. To just drive the point home a blatant Cable knock off shows up at the end turning a dramatic scene of a teenage runaway barely making it day to day into something almost laughable. Even so I would still recommend it for a read but yeah faux Cable is clown shoes.
All in all not a bad book, there's definitely been better introductions to the Outsiders buuuut there's also been so majorly bad ones as well. This book does just enough right to land on the better side of that coin but also makes some iffy choices that will undoubtedly raise an eyebrow.
Batman and the Outsiders #1: DC’s New Mutants?
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 7.5/107.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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